A new governance perspective on port–hinterland relationships: The Port Hinterland Impact (PHI) matrix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


We develop a new governance perspective on port-hinterland linkages and
related port impacts. Many stakeholders in a port's hinterland now demand tangible economic
benefits from port activities, as a precondition for supporting port expansion and infrastructural
investments. We use a governance lens to assess this farsighted contracting challenge. We find
that most contemporary economic impact assessments of port investment projects pay scant
attention to the contractual relationship challenges in port-hinterland relationships. In contrast,
we focus explicitly on the spatial distribution of such impacts and the related contractual
relationship issues facing port authorities or port users and their stakeholders in the port
hinterland. We introduce a new concept, the Port Hinterland Impact (PHI) matrix, which
focuses explicitly on the spatial distribution of port impacts and related contractual relationship
challenges. The PHI matrix offers insight into port impacts using two dimensions: logistics
dedicatedness, as an expression of Williamsonian asset specificity in the sphere of logistics
contractual relationships, and geographic reach, with a longer reach typically reflecting the need
for more complex contacting to overcome 'distance' challenges with external stakeholders. We
use the PHI matrix in our empirical, governance-based analysis of contractual relationships
between the port authorities in Antwerp and Zeebrugge, and their respective stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-249
Number of pages21
JournalMaritime Economics & Logistics
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014


  • governance
  • transaction cost economics
  • economic impact
  • port hinterland
  • geographic reach
  • dedicated traffic


Dive into the research topics of 'A new governance perspective on port–hinterland relationships: The Port Hinterland Impact (PHI) matrix'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this